CAMP LEATHERNECK, AFGHANISTAN
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Ever since he was in high school, Navy Lt. Ryan Maid had a passion for helping his peers.
He first started helping others when he was part of a peer mediation program in high school.
Maid, the psychologist who runs the Operational Stress Control and Management program for Regimental Combat Team 6, decided he wanted more and wanted to better help others.
“I chose to be a psychologist because I was in a position in a very young age where I was helping individuals, and I was limited in what I could do,” said Maid, from Harrisonville, Mo.
Maid says he first had the idea to become a psychologist when he was a senior in high school, but his strong desire to help others came when he was doing clinical work in his graduate school.
Maid has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Central Missouri State and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Forest Institute of Professional Psychology.
“I felt like being a clinical psychologist could help me accomplish doing a lot more with patients and having the freedom to really help individuals,” he said.
Maid was also drawn to another career. Ever since he was young, he had always wanted to join the military.
By joining the Navy, he found he could fulfill both of his dreams. He said naval service allows him to do something different in his career field than his psychologist peers, and there are a wide variety of options for him. He loves that in the Navy he can be stationed almost anywhere.
“You can’t be a psychologist on a ship in the Army or the Air Force,” he said.
Now, he’s serving in Afghanistan alongside Marines, doing things he said he wouldn’t have gotten to do if he hadn’t joined the military.
“My favorite part of my job is being able to travel and work with the Marines on their level and kind of in their natural environment out within the battle space,” he said.
As the psychologist for the OSCAR program, when Maid travels throughout RCT-6’s area of operations, he gives classes to Marines on combat stress, post traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses.
The OSCAR program also provides Marines with counseling services to help with the stresses faced in a combat environment.
“I think the Marine Corps is doing a good job focusing on mental health,” said Maid. “Putting mental health assets at the regimental level is a good idea.
Maid said if a Marine wants to be evaluated or treated, they need to talk to their OSCAR-trained team members, the Marine’s chain of command or OSCAR extenders, who are battalion surgeons, chaplains or corpsman.
Maid said people can come see him for a number of different things such as smoking cessation, anxiety, adjustment issues, family relational difficulties and almost any type of mental health difficulties.
He said he is also available for walk-ins when he is not traveling the battle space.
With a friendly smile and an open ear, Lt. Maid will continue to do what he loves and help those who need his services while deployed to Afghanistan.
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This work, Sailor turns passion into career, by Sgt Ed Galo, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.